Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Alan Tapper

Second Advisor

Dr Gail Lugten

Third Advisor

Jodie Moyle


This thesis is a study of public policy issues relating to multinational geological repositories for high-level radioactive waste disposal (HLW). Nuclear states have attempted for decades to implement effective radioactive waste policies, though with limited success. The safe disposal of HLW has proven particularly troublesome and, thus far, a solution has eluded all states. A review of radioactive waste policy in the UK, the US and Switzerland reveals some of the underlying themes behind community opposition to repository siting and the reasons for a broader global search. The failure to achieve HLW repositories at a national level has led to much research into the technical, social and political obstacles to site selection, and into international collaboration. In 1999 Pangea Resources International (PRI) concentrated its efforts in securing a multinational HLW repository in the Australian outback, with its two main arguments being economic incentives for Australia and safety and security benefits for a broader range of nation states. The 'proposal' failed to gain public or political acceptance. An examination of the Pangea multinational project is undertaken to determine why the proponents were unable to adequately make their case for the shared repository's benefits. The study finds that the arguments presented to Australia were rejected because the public perceived the risks from hosting the repository to be much greater than the associated benefits.

Included in

Public Health Commons